Statement by Mr. NAKAGAWA Shu, Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, at the 2024 Annual Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board


Administrator Steiner, I thank you for your comprehensive statement, which is rich with many examples of concrete initiatives and efforts to help countries achieve the 2030 Agenda, which Japan highly appreciates.
Thank you ASG Modeer and ASG. Crumbly for your leadership and dedication during your tenure. Wishing you all the best for your future endeavors.
Currently, the world is facing multiple, complex crises, as well as situations that threaten the peaceful and stable international environment.
We believe that it is necessary to respond to these difficult challenges from three perspectives.
The first is conflict prevention. This requires a comprehensive approach that is tailored to each situation and reflects the needs and opinions of all those on the ground. UNDP, which has its roots in the field of international aid, presences in 170 countries around the world, and works with a wide range of actors, has a great comparative advantage with regard to supporting conflict prevention.
Second, we need to place greater emphasis on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus (HDP Nexus).
At the Global Refugee Forum last December, Foreign Minister Kamikawa announced the launch of the HDP Nexus Multi-Stakeholder Pledge (MSP) as a platform for cooperation among donor countries, host countries, and international organizations. She added that Japan has been expanding the HDP Nexus approach in Africa.
We are delighted to be collaborating with UNDP under the MSP. In this connection, we greatly appreciate UNDP's activities in crisis response and early recovery, and we have provided assistance for debris removal for instance in Ukraine, Syria, and Türkiye through UNDP.
Third, the Women and Peace & Security (WPS) perspective is required for the advancement of the HDP Nexus.
Since even before the Taliban takeover, Japan has long supported women in Afghanistan through bilateral and multilateral channels, given our priority on gender equality and WPS. To address new and recent challenges, Japan is supporting a two-year project with UNDP that was launched last year with the aim of strengthening women’s economic activity in the private sector in seven provinces of Afghanistan. The project seeks to empower women in both rural and urban areas, and to expand women entrepreneurs’ access to finance, markets, and improved business management skills. We would like to request that the WPS perspective continue to be one of the axes of UNDP’s activities.
We understand that core funding plays a pivotal role in UNDP’s crisis response.

We are aware that the new Funding Compact aims to raise the core funding of UN agencies to 30% of the total budget. Although Japan remains in a tough fiscal situation due to the continued depreciation of Japanese Yen and other factors, we continue to advocate to our capital to contribute to quality funding, such as core and pooled funds. In this regard, we look forward to hearing more about the tangible impact of the portfolio approach, such as through the Funding Windows.

With regard to financing for sustainable development, we believe that as the importance of private finance for developing countries grows, it is crucial to explore new approaches to mobilizing private finance. This should involve using Official Development Assistance (ODA) as a catalyst, as well as collaborating with various stakeholders, without being constrained by past precedents. In this context, we look forward to discussing this matter further with UNDP.

Finally, we see that UNDP has identified digitalization, innovation, and finance as the three enablers to accelerate development impact. Our Cabinet Office has committed $850,000 USD to the Accelerator Labs in 2023 and $450,000 USD in each of 2020, 2021, and 2022 to implement the “Japan SDGs Innovation Challenge” to create solutions to development challenges in developing countries in collaboration with Japanese private companies. We will continue to work closely with UNDP and the private sector in the areas of digitalization and innovation.

I thank you.